The post office at Martin’s in Reigate High Street will now close in March, rather than September as previously expected.
Martin’s is run by national retailer McColl’s who last year decided to end their lease of the site, and resign from the post office franchise.
The last day the store will be open will be Friday 27 March, but the post office section will shut on Tuesday 3 March at 6pm.
The Post Office, which does not own the site, is continuing to search for a replacement operator and has advertised the franchise.
This week a Post Office spokesperson said: “We understand how important a Post Office is to a community and we are committed to providing a Post Office in the area. We are looking at ways to provide Post Office services.”
Giving the closure date of the post office as 6pm on 3 March, the spokesperson said that the post office, and store, had been due to close in mid-September following McColl’s decision, but that this had been moved to March owing to “lease issues”.
For McColl’s, a spokesperson said this week that the Martin’s store would continue to trade up until the end of 27 March, and that McColl’s had explored “all options” before taking “the difficult decision not to renew the lease”.
“We are obviously saddened to no longer be operating the store, and our priority has been to support all affected colleagues.”
The McColl’s spokesperson said the timing gap between the post office closure and that of the store was down to logistics.
Reigate Business Guild is among those keen to see that a post office remains in the town. Chairman Jes Chandler said: “The guild believes that the post office is very much required in the town centre, and provides an invaluable service to the community, both physically and from a social aspect.
“The queues out of the doors prior to Christmas prove this point, especially with two of the mainstream banks closing their doors in the last year.
“The guild has encouraged its retail members to consider a location for the post office, which would provide good footfall to any retail outlet.”
Updated 24 January to insert the clarified dates for respective closures